Each year we start off with high hopes and anticipation for the most important family time of the year, Christmas. Weeks before Christmas even the ignorant start watching the weather forcast in order to find out how likely the white decoration from above is going to make it down the valleys of the nation. And each year the white fluff becomes more and more a moody, erratic, fickle memory. OK I admit I am so disappointed!
This year instead of skiiing and cross country, sledding and watching ski races, we are hiking with a rather bad mood, as we all must now admit, Global Warming is reality and the draught that we will have to face soon indepensable. No snow, no melting water from the mountains ... Tell me, shall we not be alarmed?
A cry for comfort food breaks free and lots of white powder sugar piled on top. At least some white fluff, and a compromise on my diet in the week between two major feasts. Skipping lunch for this afternoon treat is worth the wait and the house is filled with soothing aromas.
For the first time in my life I made the dough all by myself. I thought this was quite the challenge because here in Austria you can buy strudel dough in every supermarket. But making my own was on my list all my life and 2015 had to end on a bucket list shorter than it started out, just for the record. And it was super easy. I found this recipe in a cookbook by Lafer and I made up the filling while at it. Because I cannot stand raisins and I wanted to try a new go on apple strudel with apples and nuts only. No breadcrumbs as in the original recipe. So please try it for yourself the dough is super stretchy and didn't break once and the filling far less sweet than usual.
Preparation time 1,5 hours
Chilling 2 hours
Baking time 25-30 min
Oven temperature 200°C | 400°
200g | 1 ¾ cups flour
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 dash of salt
120 ml | ½ cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp oil to cover the dough before refrigerating
1 kg | 2,4 pounds apples, peeled, core removed, quartered and cut in slices
juice from 1 ½ lemons
80 g sugar
80 + 80 g butter
110 g ground almonds
50 g ground hazelnuts
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Making the dough is the first step. Put all ingredients in a bowl and attach the dough hook, knead after combined another 5 minutes to allow the dough to become elastic and smooth. Brush with some oil and refrigerate covered with cling wrap for about 2 hours.
Wash and peel the apples, quarter them and remove the core with the seeds. Cut slices and marinate in a clean bowl with the juice of the lemons.
In a little saucepan warm 80g of butter to be used to brush the dough with.
In another pan on medium heat roast the grounded nuts with the butter, season with cinnamon and sugar and set aside to cool.
The dough can be divided in two equal parts to make two smaller strudels. On a floured work surface roll out the dough until thin enough them lift off the dough and stretch it over the back of your hand pulling slightly, turning the dough round and round over your hand helping it to become thin like a sheet almost see through and as large as 2 sheets of A4 maximum. Spread a soft and slightly moist tea towel on your work surface and place the dough straight on it. Brush the entire upper side with butter, place half of our marinated apples on the first lower half, leave 3 cm (a little over an inch) to the edges free and cover with the roasted nut mix. Lift the left and right side and fold in to the middle to make the ends secure, brush the visible sides again with butter, this way they will stick together and hold the filing in. Then take the tea towel and lift it from you with the dough and filling, roll it away from you, the filling will move a bit while being rolled and with the upper empty part of the dough close the strudel. Now the rolled strudel sits still on your tea towel. Line a form or a baking sheet with parchment paper and lift the strudel with the help of the tea towel carefully let the strudel roll softly on the paper. Do the last steps one more time and leave some space between the two strudels. Brush again with butter on the top and bake until crisp and brown, 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with some whipped cream and loads of powdered sugar.